53. The Path to Series A, Part 1 (Semil Shah)

The Full Ratchet Podcast on iTunesNick Moran Angel List

Semil Shah of Haystack joins Nick to cover The Path to Series A, Part 1. We will address questions including:

  • Semil Shah Path to Series ACan you walk us through your background and how you became involved in startup investing?
  • Can you first talk about why you’ve written about the path to A in the past and why it’s been a major focus area of your’s?
  • How do you think the fundraising environment of the past few years has changed the attitude or approach of Series A investors?
  • What are your thoughts on timing, seasonality and when founders should begin Series A conversations relative to the close of their seed round?
  • I’ve heard some advocate a shotgun approach while others suggest a rifle strategy when targeting VCs for an A. What are your thoughts on how a seed-funded startup should target A round VCs?
  • Will you ask for the A round investor target plan prior to closing the seed investment?
  • You’ve mentioned how messy cap tables with stacked notes and SAFEs can derail an A round. And there was an interesting twitter thread on the topic w/ Jason Lemkin, Dave McClure, Keith Rabois, Marc Andreesen and Hunter Walk discussing the problems that this creates. Can you review what the issue is here and how it may be addressed prior to an A round?
  • What are your thoughts on metrics and the role they play in securing an A round?

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